But on the Poseur project, Ms. Eagan will be missing one big thing she has going for her now: an alliance with Alloy Entertainment, the hugely successful book packager that developed characters and plot for Gossip Girl, The It Girl, The Clique and A List before Ms. Eagan acquired them for Little, Brown.
Poseur, by contrast, came from Trident Media Group agent Melissa Flashman, who developed the idea for the series in collaboration only with the author.
Asked what he thought about the concept for Poseur, Alloy president Les Morgenstein hesitated. “What do I think of that?” he said, pausing to think. “So it’s kind of the Breakfast Club starts a fashion line? Uh … don’t know! I have to read it!”
He went on: “I can comment on my feelings about D.I.Y. fashion—I think, probably, the girls who like to do D.I.Y. fashion like to do it, not necessarily read about it. But that’s one guy’s opinion.”
Not exactly a show of confidence, but Ms. Eagan said she is not the slightest bit worried about working on the book without Alloy’s help: Ms. Maude’s writing is really funny and poignant, she promises, and will appeal to the same exact readers who loved Gossip Girl.
“Not every series has to be with a packager,” she said. “Basically with Alloy we were working with their designers. Now we’re working with our designers. We have the staff in house to put the books together here.”
Starting next month, she will officially launch Poppy, her very own teen-lit imprint at Little, Brown, with a hardcover Gossip Girl prequel called It Had To Be You. Poppy will retroactively unite all the girl books Ms. Eagan has edited to date to create one coherent brand, and all her books, past and future (including the Poseur books), will eventually carry the Poppy logo.
Also on the docket is a four-book Gossip Girl spin-off series that revolves around the same high schools as von Ziegesar’s originals but features a whole new set of kids.
“Having an imprint to put all these books under is a really great branding opportunity,” Ms. Eagan said. “If people see the bold Poppy logo on the spine … they’ll know it’s not going to be a serious book about death and destruction. It’s going to be a kooky, fun girl story!
“It’s Poppy!” she said. “They’re all Poppy. Everything’s Poppy now.”